Friday, December 25, 2009

Pumpkins and Holidays

Happy Holidays to you, your family and friends.
I wish you peace, joy and love.

May you have plenty of opportunities to spend time with your family and friends, have meaningful conversations filled with laughter, and eat wonderful food.

We've already started all this and hope to continue throughout these holidays.

For example, I found a couple of great recipes yesterday while trying to solve an abundance of fresh pumpkin in our house right now.

You see, my Dad created a large garden in our backyard when he and his wife (also my Mom) came to live with us in America. Among other wonderful foods, he harvested 16 pumpkins this Fall and we've been enjoying them in traditional recipes including in porridge, blintzes. However, my short attention span and curiosity drove me look up some new recipes in which pumpkin is a dominant ingredient.

So, I found a recipe for fritters made with pumpkin and curry. They were very tasty and even more when dipped in mustard and/or chutney. I liked them better second day because I could really taste the successful marriage of the ingredients in this fritter.


  1. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, egg, flour, baking powder, curry powder, and salt. Mix until smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Drop batter by spoonfuls into hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and serve immediately.
  3. Having done these a couple of times, I discovered that to get these fritters round you need to flip them once the dough surfaced. To get the fritters golden on both sides you need to flip them a couple more times.
The other recipe is for sweet pumpkin with some variation from my part. I like to improvise and changed the pie crust to a combination of Whole Foods 365 organic vanilla wafers, Silk Soymilk Natural Nog, and rum. The rest I followed pretty closely.

Whatever you're eating this Holiday Season, may it be filled with love and delicious taste.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A NEW LilianaBead Tutorial Out There - Fancy Ribbon Design

I prefer it when the tutorial is all done and ready to be read, enjoyed and used for guidance.

This tutorial focuses on a design of my own which I call Fancy Ribbon. Layers of color and movement as if it is a fancy ribbon floating in a freshwater stream.

Below are some excerpts - visual and linguistic - to introduce this tutorial to you.

o Learn to detect consistency by studying the heat color in your glass. Red heat color communicates hard clay, orange – soft clay, and yellow – paint. The most advantageous and empowering location is of course on the margins. For example, managing orange-yellow heat-colored glass is much easier.

o After winding discs always hot-fuse them by gently heating them to an orange-red heat color to the side of it rather than from the top. The discs transmit heat unevenly which makes them extremely vulnerable to thermal shock.

o Melt the bead in the upper part of the middle section of the flame.

Steps 15, 16 &17: Encase the bead.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Come Melt Glass and Make Beads at Worcester Center for Crafts

Flames are burning bright at WCC!!!

I'll be teaching two classes this winter and spring in 2010 at Worcester Center for Crafts. One of the oldest craft centers in the nation, WCC has a well equipped lampwork studio and a fresh outlook.


01/19/201002/23/2010Tu from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM

03/02/201004/06/2010Tu from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Last night I taught the last class of the fall session. I was so impressed with how in a short period of six weeks each student accomplished so much, becoming aware of and engaged by a new medium. We admired the beads they made, rich in choices of form and color. I felt confident that everyone was well-equipped to continue their new journey.

I enjoyed observing every student persevere at learning from demos, solidifying understandings, and develop his/her aesthetic preferences.

I can't wait to see and share more.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Anti-poverty campaigns during time of war

Have you heard this radio ad about donating hundreds of thousands of G.I.JOE dolls to poor US children? Don't fall for it.

Well, I did and was appalled. My reactions hit me like a rock. I couldn't believe that this apparently well-wishing ad promising to bring joy to all these kids for Thanksgiving was causing my liver to produce more and more bile - I was livid.
Dennis Quaid is the face of this doll and the voice of this campaign. When I heard and then saw the doll, here's what I heard:

We are in time of war. Our soldiers are dying. Let's give G.I.JOE dolls to the children of poor US children while advertising a movie in the meantime.

How cynical can we get?

I plucked this (see below) from a website advertising Quaid's most recent movie.

Hasbro has announced that the "G.I. Joe" brand, the Marine Toys for Toys Foundation and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra star Dennis Quaid will help deliver up to 300,000 toys to children this holiday season:

Over 14 million children live in poverty in the United States. They need a hero this holiday season and here to answer the call of duty is the G.I. JOE brand from Hasbro, Inc.

Hasbro’s G.I. JOE brand, the Marine Toys for Toys Foundation and actor Dennis Quaid are joining forces to help make this holiday season a little brighter for less fortunate children. For every G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra toy purchased at stores from November 11 through November 26 (Veteran’s Day through Thanksgiving), Hasbro will donate a new toy (up to 300,000 toys with a minimum $3.99 value) to Toys for Tots.

My issue is certainly not with giving toys to poor children.
My issue is with the fact that a large chunk of my country's economy is built on warfare and weapons. Children are socialized into ways of being that are acceptable to and drive the economy of war and violence. And, it is in large part the children of middle and lower-class families who end up joining the military as a way out of financial hardship. A lot of them grow up thinking that war is normal.
I think it's important that we challenge these taken-for-granted assumptions.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Parasites are Here

The other day I was driving back from having taught my class at WCC and listening to You should have seen my face: during that 1/2 hour my face went through a range of facial expressions and sounds expressing abhorrence, panic, fatalism and pure joy... all in that order :)

What was I listening to you ask?
Radiolab. Their performance of the report was very entertaining while the content was making me jitterry. The topic was Parasites...

This particular subject was quite fascinating. The subject was Toxoplasm gondii which is a common protozoan parasite. It causes a disease called toxoplasmosis. "Although not normally harmful to humans, in immunocompromised hosts and in new born babies toxoplasmosis is harmful," according to House Ear Institute. Below is a micrograph colorized with NIH Image.

Enjoy the story!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back from a Night Class at WCC and more

It's been some time since I wrote last...
A lot of things and some of them wonderful have been happening and keeping my mind away from self-expression in blog format.
The self-expression in other media is going strong :)

  • SOWA is done for the year. I think I will apply to do it again next year in part because of the new customers and the artists' community.
By the way, last time at SOWA I wasn't myself but rather shape-shifted by the Dark Spirits of Halloween. Below is a photo of me that a customer offered to take and he sent it to me recently.
What am I? If you guess "right" I will send you a bead.

  • My Mother-In-Law and her brother visited with us for a week or so and we all went to Acadia National Park and then Bar Harbor. Standing on Cadillac Mountain on a very very windy day was quite an experience. The marks left by the glacial waters on the mountain and the wild flora arising amidst the cracks in the ancient stone - one powerful and yet very fragile landscape. Bar Harbor, on the other hand, a very quaint town with beautiful by-the-sea scenery, is a great place to relax and enjoy aquatic culinary delights. We stayed at Bar Harbor Inn which is directly on the waterfront and the rooms were very comfortable. Visit there when you have a chance.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Open Studios for Natick Artists

This is one busy week as I'm getting ready for the Open Studios this week-end.

Saturday and Sunday
October 17-18
Noon - 5pm

Stop by and say hello.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I've been Interviewed by Cyndi Lavin

Quick note from Snow Farm where my week-long class is coming to an end unfortunately...
Wonderful people and a beautiful landscape day and night, up and down.

In the meantime, Cyndi Lavin has interviewed me and here's where you could read more
Here's an excerpt:


Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
Glass and metal, fire and oxygen, good health and brain matter :-)

What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
Process. Process. Process.

Work gets frustrating more often than I care to admit. Unfortunately, it happens when I have deadlines. Before, I would push to try to complete the task at hand. Now I often go back to basics and allow myself to be a beginner so that I can get back in touch with the material and the process.

Playing at the torch sometimes results in what I call carbohydrates; These are pieces that are so big that the wearer is guaranteed to stay on the ground on a very very windy day. I will keep working on a piece till I absolutely have to stop because I need to use the restroom and can’t hold it anymore :-)

A source of relief for me is designing and making jewelry. I spend as much time designing with wire as I do with glass. Most of the connections have to be cold so I devote much time engineering and creating them. This process can be quite entertaining, especially when I succeed.

I like taking breaks and looking through books and magazines.


Let me know what you think.
Cheers :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Busy September

I'm sitting on my butt and NOT twirling a mandrel in my hand for a change.

September has and will be very busy for me as I prepare for two SOWAs
  • this Sunday, September 13; it's not going to rain - wheheeeee!!!
  • and next week-end for both days September 19 & 20. It's the South End Open Studios week-end and I can't wait to be there.

On September 20th, after the show I will get in my car and head to Snow Farm - I'm teaching a week-long workshop. I can't wait to meet new students and some returning ones whose sense of humor I appreciate very much.

The next day my workshop is over Sam and Tony - good and lucky friends of ours :) - are getting married and I know it's going to be a great party and wonderful energy. Many many years filled with health and spiritual wealth and a house of stone.

Whew! Now I have to do all this :)


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Artist Statements that I enjoyed reading and more

I've been surfing internet this morning for a few reasons:
1. I like to renew items in my etsy shop in the early hours of the day.
2. It is a nice way to wake up when I find something curious to read and see.

Here's what I found:
I enjoyed every image and emotion that this statement evoked in me and remembered the time when I was an artist-in-residence at Worcester Center for Crafts. We all had to write our artist statements for our graduating exhibit. I wanted to tell a story and a story within a story because that's what working with glass and getting to glass has meant for me. To see my statement click below.
If you're looking to write your own artist statement, there are a lot of resources out there on how to write one: google "arist statement". As far as examples of artist statements, there are thousands and thousands out there. The ones that appeal to me are grounded in journeys through process and thought.
Be inspired by poised statements about connections of art and life, art and science. Make them your own and start your journey. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Peace on Earth and in Poland - September 1939

I'm working in the studio right now and can't help it but feel thankful for peace...

Today is September 1st. In 1939 on September 1st Nazi Germany invaded Poland and September 17 was the day when the Soviet Union invaded Eastern Poland. Imagine that day and every day thereafter till 1945 when WWII ended.

I'm thankful today for the little peace that some of us do enjoy nowadays and I hope that every human being will get to experience peace from beginning to end of their lives in the 21st century.

Peace to all.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday, post SOWA and a handful of favorite artists

Slooooooooow morning...
I'm recovering from a wonderful day at SOWA yesterday where I met my new customers and made new friends with artists exhibiting there.

Is there anything that tastes better than love? Well, as far as I'm concerned, yesterday morning nothing tasted better than warm and kind words filled with excitement about each bead in my display. It all began with a Mom-and-daughter pair. They each started picking up beads one by one and talking about them as small sculptures, small stories. I loved listening to them.

Beads...Sculptures...Stories.... This morning, while engaged in a conversation with my neighbor Anka, I was telling her about my encounter with these two women and their reaction to my work. As the conversation went on I heard myself speak to the idea that has been developing in my head for a while. You see. when I got into making beads I also joined a long tradition of people stringing beads and using them mostly as component parts of a larger design, a bigger plan. With years passed and more experience designing and creating beads, the value I placed on a bead as a component diminished - I started viewing each bead no matter how small on its own terms, i.e. a creation which is an apogee of a process, intention, skill.

Back to the story. The daughter, who is an adult woman with a beautiful head of red hair, ended up choosing three smaller beads with intricate designs each brought together by a complimentary color palette all strung on a silver chain. The finished piece looked like a melodic conversation and she was thrilled.

Later in the day two women and little girl, about five years old, came by and the little girl couldn't take her eyes off the beads. After looking at a few individual ones she asked, "Why is it that you start a lot of them with white?" I was struck by her intuitiveness and intelligence and ended up giving her a small bead to which, quite distressed, she replied, "Why don't you let me choose one?" I started laughing, her companions were embarrassed and encouraged her to just say "thank you." I told her how I had chosen that bead and she seemed satisfied: the bead looked like a bubble that the mermaid on her dress was blowing in the water.

Each bead can be your story: tell it and wear it in great health and wonderful spirits!

I'm thrilled when vendors become my customers. I am consistently a vendor who purchases from other vendors. To appear somewhat constrained and business-oriented, I like to wait till I can spend the money I make at the show... And sometimes we barter...

That's what happened to me yesterday. Anna, who promotes and helps sell her partner's work, stopped by my table and fell in love with a Berry. Later in the day we bartered and with Boyan's approval, I picked two great mugs. But you see, after I went back to my table I sold a few more beads and went back for more pieces to complete my new set of mugs, bowls, a sugar and a creamer set. I've already used my new pottery and am very happy to own some of his pieces. The style is archaic in its form and lines but the bright colors of his glaze give the pottery a whif of modernity. Check out his work by clicking the link below. I'm also including a few more links for you to click as you commence a journey sprinkled with beautiful arts and crafts made by artisans living in your midst.

If you'd like to add to this cool crowd of talented artists, please let me know and I will create a special section for online links to your favorite handmade stuff. Use the Comments section. Can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Back from Snow Farm

I'm back from Snow Farm and missing my students, my fellow instructors and the campus staff.
However, I will be back on September 20 for another week of teaching and looking forward to a new class and energy.

I have to say that at the beginning the energy in my classes is quite well-balanced and full of preparedness. The students are attentive and respectful toward each other and the teacher.
As the class progresses, my students develop multiple identity syndrome, oscillating from quiet and driven to joke-making, uncontrollable glass addicts. I love it and can never get enough.

My favorite thing about teaching is watching each student develop her (sometimes his :) ) own relationship with the process and the glass. While caution and/or enthusiasm make time pass and glass melt, mutual trust helps members of the class learn to watch for each other and even create together. The resulting beads are wonderful, each like a pearl encapsulating a journey rich in understanding and representing layers and layers of experience...

In addition to spending a lot of time with my students, I enjoy my time with fellow faculty. Some of them I run into quite often and there are always a few that I have yet to meet. One whom I see a lot and whose work I admire very much is Alexandra Sheldon. Check out her website to see her mind-blowing collages. I'm contemplating on taking a class with her just to see what collage can do for me...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

No Open Studio Hours in My Showroom in August

Well, I didn't make it to the studio today.

I'm going to take August off and keep my Saturdays open.

There is too much going on in my life right now including
1. It's the last month of summer.
2. I want to spend more time with my family and friends.
3. SOWA keeps me busy on Sundays.

If Saturday is the only day you can or would like to come and see me in my studio, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will coordinate a time to meet you.
Thanks :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

SOWA - Soth End Open Market in Boston

540 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118

This Sunday August 2nd I will be exhibiting at SOWA again for the fourth time and I'm looking forward to it. Below are the dates when I will be there for the next three months:

August 2, 9, 30

September 13, 19 & 20 (United South End Artists Open Studios)

October 11, 25

I've enjoyed all the shows so far and I have recently added more. I love being among some talented artisans whose work is creative, conceptually driven and well-executed. I also enjoy the customers who have interesting and rewarding reactions to my work; some of these reactions result into sales and that, of course, is undeniably and WONDERFULLY

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Shops on Etsy that I enjoyed browsing

Did you know about a feature on etsy that allows you to find out about new shops?

Well, I just recently discovered it and really took pleasure in the journey that it took me on of new shops on etsy and shops where an item has been recently purchased.

When you go to the etsy homepage you should discover a POUNCE button in the lower left corner. By clicking it you will arrive at a page where you can click on the top of the page the UNDISCOVERED or JUST SOLD buttons. Try them and see what they bring.

Here are some shops that I found and wanted to share with you because of the quality of the work and range of concept. Check them out an tell me what you think.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Two tutorials with confusing titles

This is a tale of two tutorials, whose titles may have caused confusion:

I posted the tutorial LilianaBead Apple Core Design - Starting with the Center - Part One - Lampwork Bead Tutorial several weeks ago.

I just posted the tutorial LilianaBead Tutorial - The Apple Core Design - Lampwork Bead a couple of days ago.

Today I changed the title of the first tutorial to LilianaBead Apple Core Design - Starting with the Center - Lampwork Bead Tutorial after realizing that "Part One" makes the tutorials sound more connected that they really are. These two tutorials are for two entirely separate beads. The bead shown in the first tutorial is not at the center of The Apple Core Bead.

I called the first one "Part One" because perfecting that bead gave me the inspiration for the center of The Apple Core bead. This tutorial focuses on a beautiful design which lies at basis of the apple core design. Long before I made an apple core for years I made this bead and developed it to where it is now.

Why would you purchase this tutorial if you can just purchase the Apple Core Design Tutorial? This tutorial is different in that the goal of it is

1) to show you how to make the bead in the image;
2) to start you thinking about designs as modules that will lead you to more composite designs of your own;
3) to get you to practice several techniques that make this design what it is;
4) to introduce you to concepts of color use to accentuate depth and color in glass.

The clues I offer here make each step more comprehensive and strategic. They are perceptibly different from tutorial to tutorial. I rarely copy and paste. My preference is to think about each tutorial in the moment as having its own logic and a distinct flow of words and expression. Thus, you will learn something different from each of them even though processes might appear as similar if not identical.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Apple Core Inspired

I don't know if you know this...
(1) I can crack an apple open in half with my hands.
(2) I eat the entire apple. Yes, the apple core included.

You probably don't know that growing up in Moldova, a mainly agricultural country which at the time was the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldavia...
(1) I ate fresh apples only during their ripe season and otherwise my dad, who had access to farmers and their harvest, would bring cases of fresh apples to the city and store them in his cellar. That is why we ate apples and hence they were quite exotic to us during off-season periods. In my family the entire apple was consumed.
(2) In my school not everyone's father stored apples for the winter and I, like many others, had to share with my classmates. I didn't like when people bit out of my food, so I learned how to crack apples in perfect halves with my bare hands. Sometimes I cracked those halves into two more halves depending on how many kids wanted a bite of my apple at the time.

It's nice to share and bring to the surface these memories. It's even nicer and very curious to see what comes out of this experience - an apple core lampwork bead. Who would have known?

I'm including a slideshow of images/art/craft I found on the web. There is an abundance of expression driven and influenced by the apple core - thank Goddess of All Apples :)

The Apple Core Tutorial is ready to inspire and help you make your own

Hope you're having a wonderful summer!

I'm back from my travels in Texas and Europe - I had a wonderful time which I hope to dedicate some time to in my future posts.

But right now I'm happy to say that I finished writing The Apple Core Tutorial and I made it available for sale in my etsy shop.

After weeks and weeks of preparation and writing I decided to do what I love doing best - share my knowledge with people who are as passionate about glass as I am. While writing this tutorial I was filled with moments of joy about having gotten to know glass quite intimately and that I am able to design with it. The color, the depth and its self-evident connection with the wearer and his/her surroundings - are qualities that attract and inspire me about glass.

As you read this tutorial you will see detailed images of important steps and visual clues with commentary. The steps are separate from the commentary: the steps constitute instructions whereas the clues suggest ways of thinking about and identifying meaningful details in the process. We often take these details for granted. In my world, however, all knowledge happens on the margins and these details end up playing significant roles in how I understand what’s happening
around me.

This tutorial is 51 pages long and I used 70 process images to illustrate step-by-step instructions. Below are a few pics that I used in the tutorial which will give you a taste for the detail that drives its content.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hello from Austin, Texas

Hot greetings from Austin!

This is my third visit to Austin, TX and I've loved each visit here.
The weather is grandiose and the atmosphere in this town is very cool and intelligent.
The signs on the streets reflect high awareness of social issues and are designed with a flare of modern neighborly courtesy.

For example, after treating ourselves to a wonderful cup of soy latte at Caffe Medici on West Lynn, we noticed that the parking lot shared by the cleaners and the coffee place had a sign which, in a nice font and soft colors, said something like "love your cleaners and your coffee; please respect the parking assignments for each business." As if extending its arm to welcome you and encourage your desires and needs, this sign was implying a closed system to which I would have agreed with ease and a smile on my face (and that's coming from someone who lives in Boston and who questions every system, especially the closed ones).

The flora in Austin is amazing and so rich. Austinors with gardens do a wonderful job using the varieties of cacti and other flora to create relaxed landscapes. This landscapes are quietly sophisticated and invite a desire of exploration and discovery. The forms and colors are very inspiring like, for example, today we found a young pomegranate tree and the fruits were very young, some still carried their flowers and others were already exploding into their roundness and slowly loosing their tall crowns. I love eating pomegranates and now I like thinking about them having seen their origin and stages of development while in their natural surroundings.

I an hour or so we will walk to my favorite restaurant Iron Cactus here in Austin. Every dish I've eaten there over the years has been absolutely orgasmic in its taste and presentation. The ensemble of color and ingredients comes together beautifully in my mouth with each bite. My absolute favorite however has been the guacamole dish. Besides being delicious, it is brought to the table as a collection of ingredients which are then combined together in front of your eyes. I always savor both parts of this experience and go back for more.

Tonite we are attending the wedding of my brother-in-law and his wonderful bride - that's why we are really in Austin right now. A great occasion to be in this city once again...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Create for a Cause - Suicide Prevention

This morning I'm thinking of my dear friend, RM, whose teen son died by suicide a few years ago. As result of her experiences pre- and post-, she's dedicated her life to this cause.

On June 4th, RM and her friends are holding an event during which several crafters will help her guests enjoy the process of creating and sharing the wonderful energy that usually accompanies such activities. Among conversations and meaningful relationships, we will sew and collage handmade cards and assemble jewelry.

RM and I met a couple of times to come up with ways to use beads of all types to create pendants, bracelets, rings and keychains. To economize, since this is a fundraiser for a good cause, we used memory wire and cords that we've had lying around my studio and her home to create models of what our guests can make. I will take pictures during the event and will have another post after June 4th showing you some of the pieces we will have made.

RM's son had a make-your-own streak in him. I got to know T. better when RM brought him to my studio and wanted me to teach him how to work glass in a torch flame. He ended up making beads that were all blue and red because he was a very passionate citizen of the Red Sox Nation - our baseball team here in Boston. I was amazed at how fast he took to the process. He explained to me later that he had just learned about the laws of gravity in his physics class and that he enjoyed seeing it happen so fast right in front of his eyes while melting glass.

After T. made some very nice red and blue glass beads, I taught him how to macrame so that he could incorporate them into jewelry that he would enjoy wearing. We sat in RM's kitchen with hemp thread and T. made his first of numerous macrame hemp necklaces. I found out later that many of his friends ended up with macrame hemp necklaces as result of T.'s new interest.

Now, to engage and pass on those memories of T's desire to create hands-on, RM created this fundraising event where professional crafters will provide guidance in designing and creating handmade and the guests will add new narratives to their relationships and this particular cause.

There will also be a silent auction. I donated two sets of jewelry which include a necklace and a pair of earrings representing my Berry with Seeds and Flower Berry Collections.

6 followers? Unbelievable and very exciting!

WOW! I'm thrilled to find out after a short absence here that I have 6 followers!
Thank you for signing to follow my blog.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thinking about designing while I'm getting ready to write Part II of the Apple Core Tutorial

As I'm getting ready to write the Part II of the Apple Core Tutorial, I'm thinking of all the seminars, lectures and workshops where people come together to discover and articulate their voice and style.

To me designing is about
(1) paying tribute to those who have been designing with glass (and other media) many years before I came into the process
(2) spending the time to understand and to address my own aesthetic principles that move me emotionally and intellectually.

In this day and age with the democratizing of the medium includes making access to equipment and materials easy and affordable, and encouraging a culture of sharing in respect to knowledge and skills. Those of us who enjoy working with glass and value the ways of the glass to facilitate self-expression, take it to the next level, i.e., the marketing and the selling of the product we create.

I get so excited and thrilled when I see that the crafter, in addition to making her/his product available for sale, has also made an effort to show the customers that s/he spent energy, thought and time to make glass speak for them and help them express themselves. If not, then the question for me, is why else would I do it? Now more than ever the market is full of glass creations, so why would I buy something unless it helped me connect to its creator who thinks, feels like me--or quite the opposite, and that can be exciting as well, enough for me to want to purchase it.

Here’s the story that I want to share with you to show you my path which led to the apple core design and collection.

A few years back I took a class with Jim Smircich. Among his wonderful demonstrations, he showed us how he made HIS apple core. You can check it out in almost any publication about his work. It was in the middle of the demo when I felt an arousal of my creative energy as I watched the disc placed between the two bridged beads melt. The disc was pushing down and out while the rest of the glass was drawn by the heat to the surface of the bead – what an innovative technique and a sensuous experience all in one. After the class was over, I spent hours making Jim’s apple core and watching the disc melt. Being somewhat attention deficient, I started sticking things on the bottom before I applied the disc, like metal etc. I have a few designs that incorporate the fruits of that period. They include the Constellation Collection and the Aurora Borealis Collection.
So, while continuing to experiment with the Apple Core technique I simultaneously started enjoying the dots to stripes technique (I show how to make this bead in my Part 1 Apple Core Tutorial) and did that for a long time till my brain/experience took me to marrying the two together, thus creating the current LilianaBead Apple Core Collection. Hence, the Mother & Daughter Duo.

By bringing the two designs together into one Apple Core Bead, I recognize the connection between the two but mainly I want to encourage you to make similar connections in your experience with glass and design. Isn’t this the reason why you’re lampworking: to create collections that only you could have thought of because you are an individual with creative and intellectual powers which are characteristic only to you and no one else?

While we come out of a community, we are our own idiosyncratic selves - Let’s celebrate that!

Monday, April 6, 2009


50% OFF one item in either of my two shops with a purchase in my Mom's shop

Call me CRAZYYYYY but I'm crazy about my Mom!
Her birthday is coming up and she doesn't want any gifts.
I do know, however, that one gift that she would loooooove is for her lovingly-made bookmarks and wall hangings to find loving homes.

Please enjoy this offer from the depth of my heart till the end of this week, last day of purchase should be April 12.

Click here to browse my shops:

Thank in advance.
Please consider this offer only if you really like something in my Mom's shop.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Selling Online Also Means Enlarging Your Social Footprint

If you are just starting to market and sell your artwork online or you've already been working at it for a while, it is worth to you to consider expanding your online presence continually. The more shops your work is in, the more networking you're doing, the larger your social footprint is online.

Do you have a Facebook presence?
Do you have a Twitter presence?
Do you have a Flickr presence?
Do you have a Blog?

In addition to expanding your social network, multiply the shops your work is in. These shops are built in ways that even those with few computer skills can sell their artwork successfully.

Use the same name for your shops which is your business name and you will find that all roads lead to Rome - Rome being you and your wonderful creations.

At first I thought it would be difficult to keep so many shops online and manage them all efficiently. But because all these sites are made extremely user-friendly, I found that it is actually quite easy once you have the following:

1. Have your listing done with pictures and use the same info in all your shops.
2. In your note to the customers let them know when you will have their item shipped. Make sure that you allot enough time for yourself to finish the task. As long as you tell them ahead of time, you can take up to a couple of weeks to ship the item to them.
3. Create a calendar where you keep track of your tasks. It helps a lot when I feel overwhelmed with orders.

Whatever you decide to do, in the end we all want our work to sell. The best way to do it is to have a presence in multiple shops where your customers are looking to make their next purchase.

In the meantime I'll just keep posting new items in my artfire shop FOR FREE :)
This a recent shop where I have been offering my work for sale.

I hope you consider opening your own shop on Artfire. Click below to go there and get your shop now. Let me know how I can help and I will be glad to do it.

Register on

Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day - March 8.

I wish you a wonderful International Women's Day today.

I grew up celebrating this day with my family and friends.

According to
IWD is now an official holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

While this is accurate, my take on this holiday has been that men celebrated and the women worked preparing the festive foods and cleaning before and after the party. When I told my Mom about what I thought, she added that after dining and drinking with their friends, the men usually chilled in front of the TV and required more attention at bedtime. "It is a lot to ask in return for a bouquet of flowers and a cheap bottle of perfume," my sister added.

Don't take me wrong. This is a holiday worth remembering and celebrating the bravery that the 15,000 women who marched then, in 1908, through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. Those women and the millions of women who followed and have been fighting for human rights all over the world.

In Soviet Union, however, this holiday became a reason to advance itself politically while the real human cause remained behind and is still on the backburner in most countries that celebrate this day openly. So, let's not have the day off on March 8 and give meaningless gifts to the women in our lives. Let's work on March 8th to advance the rights of women and all humans all over the world.

Friday, March 6, 2009

LilianaBead Tutorials Available Now

I've been a teacher for many years now.
I taught public speaking, rhetoric at several universities and colleges, but my passion for the last several years has been lampworking.

I love to teach glass, heat, gravity and design in part because the students in those classes really want to be there - that makes all the difference sometimes :) I think of the lampworking process as communication. The communication between
  • your urge to create and the powerful medium you're creating with
  • your desire to learn a skill and the ways of the medium to teach you those skills
  • ways of interpreting the clues of the process and translating those into design
  • glass and heat and gravity
  • and much more
So far I've created two tutorials to share some of the knowledge I've accumulated and formulated over the years. My teaching style is reflected in these tutorials in that I am quite informal in my interaction with glass while paying close attention to observations I make during the process and systematizing those. Each step is an instruction followed by numerous clues that you should watch for in order to make that long-term investment.

The tutorials contain pictures of each step in the process. In my Basic Horizon Tutorial I took the pictures myself - a long and tedious process. In my second tutorial, LilianaBead Apple Core Design - Starting with the Center - Part One, I was aided by my friend, an accomplished photographer and artist, Marie ( You will find wonderful photos accompanying each step of this tutorial.

My intention is to keep creating tutorials of my designs as I believe in my heart that sharing knowledge and making it available to others is very important. My preferred way to share knowledge is by teaching in a classroom environment. I will be teaching two workshops this year at Snow Farm. Please my website for more info and/or browse the Snow Farm Catalog (you can access it by clicking the pic on your upper right).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Martisor Day!

March 1st. Growing up in Moldova we celebrated this day by giving "Martisor" - a symbol of Spring - to our friends, teachers and family. Memories of teachers wearing dozens and dozens of them all over the left side of their chests on that day make me smile.

We wore this white and red amulet for nine days and then hung it on a fruit tree for prosperity and peace. The more people wore such amulets - there were many kinds available commercially and a lot of us made them ourselves out of yarn, silk threads - the better the chances of spring coming soon and bringing joy with a new cycle of life.

On this day I would like to give you all an imaginary Martisor which I hope brings you health, spiritual wealth, love and peace, and prosperity.

To learn more about Martisor and its 8,000-year tradition go to Wikipedia! :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Crafts Report: March 2009: Beads

I volunteered to write an essay for the March Issue of the Crafts Report in which the Insight Section is dedicated to Beads.
It's available online now.
Click here to read about artist/designer thoughts and suggestions on how to market one's work.
A longer version of my submission is available in an earlier post here.

Crafts Report online is quite resourceful in that a multitude of articles is available to the public (at no charge). Go to its Column Categories Section and read about photography, marketing, business basics and more.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's a rainy Sunday and it's very peaceful... Now to Designing with Chains

Snow and Rain together ...
Middle of February in Natick, MA can be a crossroads of seasons where either direction I look I can think back of winter passing and look forward to a spring rain. Today, watching the rain fall onto the snow, I'm pausing to give this moment merit. I'm finding peace lying in bed in my bedroom upstairs and enjoying a cold, the harsh reminder of which is just a sore throat.
Today is a good day to pause....

Our house is full today. Everybody plus* is home today and everyone is inside and on the inside of their ways of being: thinking and being in a sincere and warm way.

My friend Tolly just surprised me with a phone call. She is an Icelander who lives in beautiful Copenhagen and she studies glaciers. We know each other from Alaska where we both attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I love talking to Tolly because we can talk about everything and nothing while laughing and laughing and sometimes crying together.
Sometimes we talk about global warming since this is a part of her professional pastime and she keeps my awareness on this issue alive.

Let's talk design a bit or let me talk about design a bit and then you tell me what you think in the comment section. The topic is CHAINS.

I love using chain in my designs in part inspired by the many talented artists out there who've done that before me. Specifically, I'm talking about use of chain in designing earrings.

  1. The most obvious way to use chain, of course, is as an extension where its primary purpose is to add length. Sometimes the function is treated too literally by some and I've done my share of that. So, this design - a bead and an ear-wire connected by a short chain segment - most of the time looks too spontaneous and unintentional. I rarely see the design value in such pieces.
  2. I've seen successful designs where the purpose of the chain is to provide a frame for a focal piece or a multitude of elements such as the chandelier earrings or a vine-style earring.
  3. When creating the design in this photo, I really enjoyed thinking about chain as a part of design that provides visual and conceptual continuity to the piece. I'm hoping that the design I'm showing you in today's post does exactly that i.e. the chain turns the bead into a flower.
Meaning creation though close attention to elements makes design much fun for me and it adds to the value of the piece. And that's the news from Liliana on this dreamy and rainy day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday is a good day to blog

Good Morning!

I'm up early this Sunday morning. My father works for the restaurant on the 1st floor of our building and he needed a ride. WOW! There is life this early on a Sunday and I like the exposure :)
I also like seeing Natick at this hour - a beautiful small downtown with a green common surrounded by rows of old red-brick buildings and narrow streets traveled by people who are invigorated by their morning walk. Love it!

We have a very rich community of artists here in Natick who use an amalgam of media and seem to have an infinite source of creativity and imagination. A lot of us show our work at Five Crows, a prominent artist gallery downtown Natick. We also show our work in our studios and local businesses during Art Walks starting May till September every Thursday evening from 5:30 to 8pm. The summer art events culminate in a wonderful celebration of art during Open Studios during first weeek-end of October. Come by and visit us here. For now you can hop onto the sites below to check us out.

43 Main Street Studios at
Five Crows at
Natick Artists at

I'm unveiling :) a new design for you today. A new style of earrings as I continue to be inspired by flowers.

Have a wonderful Sunday and be inspired!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wonderful work by Other Artists

I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday.

I'm enjoying myself at home on a cold winter day browsing the web, remembering those whose work I've always enjoyed and learning about new artists.

Check out Caitlin's Hyde work at
I met Caitlin in 2000 when I moved to Carbondale, IL and took my first bead class with her.
She's an artist of both conceptual and technical degree whom I admire and whose work I enjoy very much. Caitlin is also a very kind and wonderful person and that comes through in her work.

A new artist I just found out about from browsing Caitlin's virtual pages is Lena Revenko. Visit her at
I think of her as the Frida Kahlo of these times whose work is a combination of a kind of fairy tale dreaminess and an acute awareness of the current social realities.

Tell me what you think.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy New Year of the Ox!

Happy New Chinese Year of the Ox!

Here's a page on squidoo that I loved reading while thinking of this opportunity to be inspired:

Be the Ox that you always wanted to be and make sure to wear a hyde tonite for good luck in the New Chinese Year!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Do you have a google analytics account?

I hope you're enjoying your week-end so far.

I've been looking at google analytics for the last hour trying to make sense of the traffic that comes to my website and etsy accounts.
The one for my website I've had for a couple of years. I've used these data (1) to work on tagging the pages with the keywords that people use to search for me, (2) to create a homepage and a navigation system that is user-friendly and enticing.
Now I have analytics on my two etsy accounts where I have yet to accumulate enought data to make sense of it.

Do you have a google analytics account?
Whether you do or not, hop onto timothy's adam page
and check out the tutorials on how to get an account on google analytics and start tracking the traffic in your etsy shop.

Let me know what you think and how it goes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Marketing Blossoming Hearts

I hope you have a peaceful and wonderful Martin Luther King Day!

Among many things you might choose to do today, a suggestion that I heard on the radio and would like to pass on is, "If someone flips you off on the road today while you're driving, smile and wave back."

Speaking of love and peace, here (above) are a new pair of earrings from me. Please let me know what you think of this design. I thought I would call this collection The Blossoming Heart.

I'm getting ready to write an essay for The Crafts Report for their Insight section which"highlights artists' ideas for marketing their products/business and the successes they have achieved in doing so." Fortunately the essay has to be short because I don't have that much to say on this subject.

I find marketing to be the hardest part of being an artisan. Here are a few things that I've been doing on a regular basis to market my work:
  1. I've maintained a website for a few years now where I show old and new work, teaching schedule etc.
  2. I opened a studio/showroom downtown Natick about a year and a half ago where I work and offer un(finished) pieces for sale.
  3. Several galleries carry my work.
  4. Almost two years ago I opened an etsy account [] where I offer beads and more for sale to a market that I hadn't considered seriously before, i.e. other designers who incorporate lampwork glass pieces into their jewelry.
  5. I work very hard on coming up with new designs that are specific to my style and aesthetic preferences.
  6. I make sure that all collections I intend to offer on a regular basis have titles.
Here are a few things that I've done recently to market my work including engaging the social media (which I never felt was my strength but would love to work on making it one):
  1. I have a second etsy account [] where I will offer one-of-a-kind finished work.
  2. I have work for sale on my website.
  3. I now have a blog which you're reading.
  4. I have a facebook account.
  5. I am going to post photos of my work on my flickr account.
And here are a few things that I would like to do:
  1. Keep up with everything I have and am doing and constantly reassess the results.
  2. Develop relationships with a couple of galleries the owners of which will open wholesale accounts to carry my work.
  3. Get more involved with my community.
  4. Stay enthusiastic and maintain a healthy work ethic which allows me to enjoy my family and still bring income.
I have the feeling that I've said enough :)
Thank you for following this blog; I'm looking forward to your comments so we can have a discussion about issues we all care about.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Creating Heart Jewelry

Frank Lloyd Wright said that, "The heart is the first feature of working minds."
Among other meanings behind this quote, it also describes best my relationship with hearts: when it comes to creating hearts my brain kicks in as it says, "So what are you going to make?"

The truth is that I've made many many heart pendants and necklaces over the years and yet here I am thinking about them again and again as if I've never made one before. Re-creating what I've already made is not satisfactory to me.

With St. Valentine on our doorstep in addition to the fact that hearts sell very well all year around, I am thinking of new designs. Designs that are not too much of a cliche and which would reinforce the form of the heart in a subtle way.

The form of the heart is what appeals to me very much and making that form in glass is one of the most sensuous experience to me. Watching and guiding the hot glass as gravity wraps it with its charm and power is simply hypnotizing.

Well, no more words. One more heart ... that I really enjoyed making.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inspired by the Stamen - New LilianaBead Design

Sometimes I hear, "Oh, I could do that."
My question then is, "Did you do it or did someone else get to it first?"
Inspiration is deeply individual fueled by our social experience.

I spend a lot of time thinking about designs. I like to take pride in my work. The source of that pride is the time, effort and skill I spend on designing glass beads and jewelry, and more.

Right now I'm working on new designs in jewelry.
Here's one that I created this past week while looking at structures of plants.
This collection is inspired by the structure of the stamen.

I'm making the first exemplars of this collections available in my etsy shop:

Please don't hesitate to give me feedback on this collection.

Today is the day!

I'm finally here and quite excited about it too :)

The reason why I haven't done till now is that I never thought of myself as being able to keep a blog. But I'm willing to give it a try because I am sure that I am going to love the community.